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2013 Amendment of the Energy Saving Legislation

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The amendment of the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) and the Energy Saving Act was finished in autumn 2013 caused by different reasons. It served the purposes of

  • the transposition of the recast European Directive on Energy Performance of Build-ings (2010/31/EU. EPBD) into German law and
  • the further development of the energy performance requirements in consequence of the Federal Government’s decision about the "Energiewende" and the "Energiekonzept" of September 2010 and June 2011.

Furthermore, additional need for changes was detected

  • due to amendment of the technical standards (update of links to the standards and numerous consequent changes)
  • serving the purpose of simplification requested from several stakeholders and
  • as conclusions from the practical execution of the current EnEV 2009 (improvements of text to facilitate legal enforcement, clearing of practical questions e. g. via implementation of published official interpretations).

From the recast EPBD mainly the following issues were due for transposition to German law:

  • the long-term introduction of the "Nearly-Zero-Energy-Building" as standard for new buildings by 2021 (buildings owned and used by authorities by 2019),
  • new regulations to improve energy certification, among others the obligation to include energy performance indicators in commercial advertisements for sale or rent of buildings or parts thereof, the extension of the obligation to display energy certificates, in future also due for smaller public buildings and larger, not officially shared buildings which are frequently visited by the public (e. g. shopping malls, banks, restaurants) and the introduction of an independent sample control system for energy certificates and AC-inspection reports.

The national implementation of the EPBD needed an amendment of the Energy Saving Act as well. The basic obligation for the "Nearly-Zero-Energy-Standard" was included in the amended law.
On February 6th 2013, the German Federal Government adopted the drafts for the amendment of the Energy Saving Act and for the amendment of the Energy Saving Ordinance, both prepared by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs (BMVBS) and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi).

On the 12th July 2013, the Fourth Law amending the Energy Saving Act was published in the official journal ("Bundesgesetzblatt") and got into force by 13th July 2013. The amended Energy Saving Act constitutes the legal basis for the amendment of the Energy Saving Ordinance. Furthermore, the basic obligation to construct new buildings as "nearly-Zero-Energy-Buildings" (buildings owned and occupied by the authorities from 2019, other buildings from 2021) is laid down within the law. In addition, initialized by the parliament itself, the ban of electric storage heaters, which was formerly foreseen for to get into force by 2020, was abolished (see article 1a of the Fourth Law amending the Energy Saving Act).

The Fourth Law amending the Energy Saving Act can be obtained from the website of the official journal, available in German language only:

The 2nd Ordinance amending the Energy Saving Ordinance was finally adopted - including the changes postulated by the “Bundesrat” (2nd chamber of Parliament) - by the government on 16th October 2013. Issued on 18th November 2013 and published in the official journal on 21st November 2013, the amendment will replace the current regulations from 1st May 2014.

For the elaboration of the draft ordinance several accompanying studies – commissioned by the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development – served as basic material.

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